Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
Getting your children to love going to the dentist can be incredibly difficult, and many children feel stressed when the time comes for their bi-annual cleanings and exams. Help your children to overcome their fear of visiting the dentist’s office, and get them excited about their oral health with these tips from real parents. Talk Openly About Going to the Dentist Kids can smell fear, and how you speak to them about going to the dentist is no exception. Be open and honest with your child over what they can expect at the dentist and also keep your language simple. Since you will not know prior to your appointment if your child will need any treatments, stick to the basics.   Be Selective With Your Words Certain words instantly trigger a child into feeling anxious. When speaking with your child regarding what they can expect at their dental appointment, explain how the dentist will count ...
For anyone who suffers from dental anxiety, low pain tolerance, extreme sensitivity or movement disorders, going to the dentist can be extremely difficult. More and more patients who suffer from these challenges or have a general dislike for the dentist are opting for sedation dentistry for many reasons. If you are considering dental sedation for your next appointment or procedure, being fully informed prior to your appointment will help you to know exactly what to expect. Here are five vital questions to ask your dentist before opting for dental sedation. What Are the Benefits of Dental Sedation? Dental sedation can be used for a variety of different reasons. Reduced Dental Anxiety One of the top reasons we utilize dental sedation is to help patients who are extremely nervous or anxious about their appointment regardless of the treatment being performed. Some patients avoid visiting the dentist strictly because of their fears, and their teeth have suffered ...
Easter activities are just around the corner. Will the Easter bunny be making a stop by your house with goodie baskets for the kids? Perhaps it’s a good time to rethink your strategy before you fill your shopping basket with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and other sweets. Sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay in children and even adults. Indulging on too many sweets over an extended time can lead to cavities, tooth decay and even gum disease. Skip these sugar-filled Easter basket treats and use these tips for keeping your Easter baskets tooth-friendly this year. Jelly Beans One of the first things most parents reach for when assembling supplies for easter baskets is a big bag of jelly beans. After all, they make for the perfect treat to stuff inside those colorful plastic eggs that kids love to search for. But jelly beans are made of mostly pure sugar, and all ...
Do you have any upcoming vacations on your calendar? Lucky you! While traveling and seeing new places is fun and exciting, it can also be more challenging if you’re a patient that is new to Invisalign. Whether you’re hitting the open road, or heading to the airport, do it confidently with these 6 tips to enjoying your vacation with Invisalign. Pack the Essentials You’ve likely packed a dental essentials kit before during previous travels. The good news is that it’s likely your existing travel kit already has almost everything you need to care for your Invisalign while away. Be sure to include these essential travel items for maintaining your oral health: Travel Toothbrush - We recommend you pack multiple toothbrushes in convenient places such as your suitcase, a carry-on, and in a handbag, so you are always able to clean your teeth after eating and drinking before replacing your aligners. Floss - ...
When life gets hectic, many adults put off routine dental appointments, and that can come back to haunt you down the road. If it has been longer than you’d like to admit since a dentist has seen you, there is no time like the present to reinvest in your oral health. Having your teeth cleaned by a professional is about more than just a white smile. Maintaining your oral health can prevent tooth loss and other serious health issues. Here’s what you can expect if it has been years since you have been in the dentist chair. An Extensive Cleaning If it has been over a year since you have been to the dentist, the first thing you can expect is for your appointment to take a bit longer than usual. Over time, a significant amount of plaque can form on the surfaces of your teeth, and the only way to have this ...
Dreaming of candy hearts, romantic love songs, and a perfect first kiss this Valentine’s Day? Before cozying up to the one you love, make sure your mouth is in excellent health because, sometimes, a kiss can be more than just a kiss. Kissing stimulates saliva, which can help your mouth fight cavities naturally. However, if you have poor oral health, you run the risk of sharing unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases instead of a perfect first kiss. Make your smile a vision of love and extra kissable with these tips. Brush Up On Your Brushing Basics You’ve likely been practicing the same oral hygiene routine since you can remember, but your at-home technique should evolve, not stay the same. Brush up on your hygiene habits and refresh your perspective and your mouth. At your next dental exam, ask your dentist or hygienist how your at-home care measures up, and if you should be doing ...
An earache can be quite painful at times, and the immediate assumption is that the pain is the result of some problem within the ears. Interestingly, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to a condition within your ears at all. A number of dental health problems can cause ear aches as a common symptom. Some of the most common kinds of dental problems may result in earaches. Your Ear Pain May Not Be Caused By Your Ears Experiencing an earache can be quite painful at times, and most immediate assumptions are that the pain is the result of some issue within your ear. However, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to an ear condition at all. A number of dental health problems can lead to earaches as a symptom.   Tooth Decay and Ear Pain Having a bad untreated cavity or suffering from significant tooth damage can be ...
After getting your teeth cleaned and polished by a dental hygienist, the dentist will come in to examine your teeth. To many patients, it is hard to follow along with what happens next as your dentist begins rattling off alphanumeric jargon. Dr. Kim Okamura wants you to feel more prepared in following along with what your dentist is really saying while using dental terminology.  Here’s a basic guide to understanding dental lingo, especially what the numbers and letters discussed during your exam mean. What the Numbers and Letters Mean When dentists and dental hygienists talk about numbers and letters as they peer into your mouth, they are identifying specific teeth. Using a coding system of letters and numbers allows dentists to specify which teeth have visual decay or other issues. If you listen to your dentist, you can learn a great deal about how well you are taking care of your teeth ...
The latest mini-trend among those who are conscious about their oral health is to always use a straw when consuming highly sugary, dark-colored, or acidic drinks. However, does using a straw really protect your teeth against cavity-causing bacteria? Stop Acid Erosion Sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to tooth decay. High levels of acid in everyday foods and drinks can be just as harmful. From oranges to wine, high acidic food and beverages can wear away your tooth enamel. This decaying process can cause tooth sensitivity and discoloration. If you drink acidic beverages, reducing their contact with your teeth by using a straw and finishing the drink quickly could help your fight against tooth erosion. Reduces Staining Using a straw with those sugary or strongly colored beverages can help reduce the number of stains they cause on the surfaces of your teeth. Drinks like soda or coffee can leave a real impact ...
The holidays are a joyful time for many, but they also bring potential health risks to your teeth. In particular, your dental health can be at risk due to the excess of sweets and alcohol consumed. Here are six teeth-saving tips to help you out this holiday season. Quit Smoking Smoking has a direct link to gum disease, which is the number-one cause of tooth loss. Since all of the shopping and planning required around the holidays can make it a stressful time of year, many smokers increase the frequency of their smoking to try combating stress. Protect your teeth by quitting your smoking habit as soon as possible. Each cigarette further increases your risk of developing gum disease. Avoid Sugary Hard Candies The holidays are filled with hard, sugary candies like peppermints and candy canes, but these are some of the hardest on your teeth. Sucking on these candies exposes your teeth and ...